Reserve couple charged with second degree murder following death of 4-month-old daughter

Published 2:47 pm Thursday, August 3, 2023

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RESERVE — A Reserve couple was arrested August 1, 2023 for the death of their 4-month-old daughter who was found unresponsive in a bed in their home. Angel Taylor, 24, and Chevy Lafountain, 31, both of Reserve, face neglect and child abuse charges as well as second degree murder.

Officers with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to the 100 block of Northwest 18th Street in Reserve at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, August 1, after Taylor called to report her child was having a medical issue. Upon arrival, officers and emergency medical services located the infant unresponsive in a bed. No vital signs were detected, and the coroner pronounced the baby deceased on the scene.

Detectives began an investigation into the infant’s death, and they located evidence the home was in “deplorable condition.” Detectives also determined the infant’s 13-month-old brother showed signs of neglect and abuse.

Based on investigation, Taylor and Lafountain were arrested and charged with child desertion (misd) and cruelty to juveniles with force/violence (felony), pending autopsy results of their four-month-old daughter.

Sheriff Mike Tregre said the cruelty to juveniles with force/violence charge references evidence of neglect observed on the 13-month-old living sibling, who is currently in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services after being examined by medical professionals.

On Wednesday, August 2, preliminary findings of the autopsy of the 4-month-old concluded the infant suffered from starvation, malnutrition, dehydration, severe neglect and child abuse, which led to her death.

During interviews with Taylor and Lafountain, detectives determined their statements were inconsistent with the infant’s physical state. According to police, both appeared “unremorseful” for their actions that led to their infant daughter’s death, their son’s current physical condition, and their living conditions.

Sheriff Tregre said he is not aware of any previous welfare calls at the residence.

In addition to the initial charges, Taylor and Lafountain were booked for second degree murder. Upon the arrest for the initial charges and the second degree murder charge, Judge Nghana Lewis set bond at $600,000 with no 10 percent on Taylor and Lafountain.